What Is A DC Motor Ceiling Fan?

what is a DC motor ceiling fan
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Ceiling fans are a great addition to most homes and sometimes even office spaces because they are quite versatile. They also don’t usually take up space in the house. Generally speaking, in most homes, vertical spaces are usually in abundance and this is the space that ceiling fans usually take up. 

Most home owners buy and install a ceiling fan to help cool down the space the fan is installed in. Cooling usually occurs when cool air is pushed down from the fan’s blades towards anybody present in the space where the fan is installed. 

It’s interesting to also note that reversing the direction of a fan can help to heat up your house if needed. Hot air usually gets trapped close to the ceiling. Blowing the fan towards the hot air means the heat gets pushed back down to where it’s in reality useful. (Learn more about blade movement and air circulation in our article: Which Way Should A Ceiling Fan Turn? Click here to read it.)

Ceiling fans are also helpful when installed in kitchens and assist in removing leftover smells or smoke after a nicely prepared meal. Additionally, ceiling fans also function as an additional source of light as a number of models come with lights installed. This means you save even more space! 

Today, however, we want to discuss a different kind of ceiling fan which is the DC motor ceiling fan. Whether you need a buying guide to assist you in purchasing one or you’re wondering “what is a DC motor ceiling fan?” this article should provide answers today. 

DC motor ceiling fans are a lightweight and energy efficient solution for any home or business which can help to save owners on cooling costs. 

You may have come across the other type of fan technology which is alternating current (AC) ceiling fans in your search for a new fan. These types of ceiling fans are less expensive but are also less energy efficient.

What Is A DC Motor Ceiling Fan? 

Electric motors come in two forms and they include:

1. Alternating Current (AC)

In alternating current motors, the current changes its direction. AC changes its direction 50 times a second. 

2. Direct Current (AC) 

The name pretty much suggests to you that, here, current flows in a single direction only. DC is used in batteries. However, originally, DC meant a drop in power the further you went away from the wire and the further away you went from the source.

DC Motor Ceiling Fan

A DC ceiling fan works when the DC motor is started up. The DC motor starts up when a small amount of electric current passes through a magnetic field coil. This resulting magnetic force then goes on to produce the torque which turns the motor repeatedly. This process needs less electrical energy. This translates into a 70% or more reduction in power consumption in comparison to AC motors. 

To learn more about how a DC motor works, watch the video below:

The specific type of DC motor which is used in ceiling fans is a brushless DC motor. It is also referred to as a synchronous DC motor. Most ceiling fans and household appliances use AC motors. This is because AC is the type of current distributed by power companies. 

In the case of DC ceiling fans, the AC power source connects to a transformer that converts AC to DC. This causes a knock-on effect by reducing the amount of power expended since it is using DC rather than AC. 

To generate the force required to rotate the rotor of the motor, the DC motor uses a system containing magnets with opposing polarity. AC motors, on the other hand, function when they are connected directly to a power source. This power source is what creates the moment of force needed to rotate the rotor of the motor. 

You might want to keep in mind that DC fans do not connect directly to DC power sources such as batteries and solar panels. Even though this might change later, manufacturers don’t seem to have any plans at the moment to make this possible.  

DC motor ceiling fans often come with learning remote controls that pair with the fan. In the process of pairing your remote with the fan, it is necessary to let the process complete without any interruption. 

If your fan begins to spin, blink its light, or even stops spinning, don’t attempt to touch it or try and stop it. This is important because the remote is still learning everything it needs to know so it can properly operate the fan. 

Leave the fan alone for at least 10 minutes and don’t attempt to touch any of the buttons during this time frame. Your patience will pay off and it will be worth it in the end. To learn more about DC motor fans visually, check out the video below:

Now that you know what a DC Motor ceiling fan is, you may be wondering what the advantages and disadvantages of this type of fan. Below we’ve provided a list of advantages of both DC and AC motors to help you out when you’re ceiling fan shopping.

Advantages Of A DC Motor Ceiling Compared To An AC Motor Ceiling Fan

  1. They don’t use as much energy as AC fans. In many cases, they use 70% less energy. 
  2. They have a high torque. This means that they have greater initial power and consume less energy. 
  3. Generally speaking, they are very quiet. 
  4. You get more options for speed. Their remotes come with a reverse function. Plus, they stop, start, and also switch speeds faster.
  5. Because their motors are much lighter and compact, they are usually slimmer than AC fans. 
  6. They typically produce better airflow which gives them three to four times more efficiency. This is especially true for huge ceiling fans with DC motors. 
  7. They have a central circuity. DC motor ceiling fans have all the electrical components located conveniently in one place on top of the motor assembly. This means there’s no need for a switch cup or canopy. This means when you’re wiring your ceiling fan during the installation process, it makes it much easier.

Advantages Of An AC Motor Ceiling Compared To A DC Motor Ceiling Fan

1. DC fans are usually more expensive in comparison to AC ceiling fan models. Yes, you won’t be using as much electricity so you save cash, right? Well, right. However, the actual money you save is quite small. 

For example, if you use a DC fan and it successfully helps you save 20 Watts per hour of use. Then say you use it for 10 hours per day for 100 days in the year. Let’s assume you use it all through the summer months on a low-speed setting), you only save roughly $3.50 per year. Mind you, off-peak rates have been applied here.

2. There are several ways to control your AC fan, wall control, pull cord. DC fans have only the one which is the remote.

DC ceiling fans, on the other hand, can generally only be controlled using a remote although there are a few exceptions. The main issue with this is the fact that remote controls stand a chance of being broken, running out of batteries and getting lost. Please note, some DC fans are offered with an optional wall controller at an extra fee

3. AC fans are actually not that terrible when it comes to energy efficiency. At high speed, AC fans only expend about 100 Watts of power in total.

Finishes And Styles Available For DC Motor Ceiling Fans 

Ceiling fans which have DC motors are also available to buy in a wide variety of styles and finishes to suit any room you put them in. 

Finishes like brass, black, brown and bronze will complement any room’s color scheme. You can also select from contemporary, traditional, antique, and industrial styles. These finishes make a great addition and can match any interior design. 

They are also available to buy in a variety of energy-efficient options for the energy conscious and environmentally friendly folks. 

What Fan Is Suitable For My Home? – A DC Or AC Motor Ceiling Fan? 

You’d have to consider a wide variety of factors before you decide to settle with one of these two ceiling fan types. The most important thing you need to keep in mind is that you have a number of options when buying whether it’s a DC or an AC fan. 

When buying a fan, it’s advisable to look out for fans that are very quiet, show no signs of wobbling, and do an excellent job circulating air. 

Remember AC motor ceiling fans may be less energy-efficient than DC fans. Notwithstanding, they still use quite little energy i.e. Pretty much the same energy two halogen bulbs would expend at their brightest. If you compare this to certain household appliances (air conditioners are a good example), you find that AC fans do not even an impression on your energy bills. 

Once you’ve determined your budget, style and function needs for your home or office space, you can be confident in your decision whether you decide to go for a DC or an AC fan.

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